European Parliament Considers Global Nuclear Weapons Ban.

n February 7, 2018 in Strasbourg, France, Ms. Beatrice Fihn addressed the European Parliament. Beatrice Fihn is Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN – the driving force behind a historic legal accomplishment in July 2017: adoption of an international agreement to ban nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth. For its efforts, ICAN became recognized and honored as recipients of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Peace.

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(Transcript)

“Distinguished members of the European Parliament: Thank you so much for this invitation to address you here today. The Nobel Committee has seen fit on a few occasions to recognize not just one extraordinary person but a valuable body with awarding them the Nobel Peace Prize, and they did so last year in awarding the coalition of almost 500 organizations that I represent – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.”

“And they did so in 2012, in recognizing the European Union for your efforts to advance peace and reconciliation, democracy, and human rights. And it is an honor to stand here with the other another Nobel Peace Prize recipient, not as one individual, but a part of a body, a large coalition working to safeguard our planet and our future. And I come to you … before you today, at a time when the need to do so is dire. I come to address one huge challenge before all of us to make every other debate in this chamber irrelevant.”

“I come to talk about the urgent danger of nuclear weapons, and the very real threat they pose to life in Europe. This is a dangerous time. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has just moved the Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight, meaning we are closer to Armageddon than at any point in the last 65 years. The war of words between North Korea and the United States threatens to boil over to a war of nuclear weapons, and Russia, China, and all the other nuclear-armed states are embarking on what essentially is a new nuclear arms race.”

“If we keep these weapons forever they will be used by intent, by accident, miscalculation or through a cyber or terrorist attack. If we continue to rely on nuclear weapons their use is a matter of when, not if. If we don’t act our luck will eventually run out. And the immediate effects of a nuclear blast would be devastating : the initial blasts that could level an entire city, the following fires will burn and suck out the oxygen of the remains of that city, and many survivors will die in agony in the days to years to come, through radiation poisoning or cancers.”

“No adequate humanitarian response will be possible, and the effects of radiation on human beings would cause suffering and death decades after the initial explosion. And Europe is not immune to these threats. It could very well be here that the next nuclear weapon will be used. And Europe has a great responsibility to address them through rational coöperation, the very principle or what this chamber was founded on. A start in fact exists within today’s dangerous mix of instability, decreased coöperation and violent rhetoric.”

“And the fact is that the majority of the world’s nuclear weapons are right here in Europe. Four out of the nine nuclear-armed States have littered this continent with the most dangerous weapons ever invented, either on their own soil, that of their allies, and of course patrolling the seas around us. And the world’s attention may currently be turned to the east to the Korean Peninsula, but we are all standing on a ticking bomb right here. The risk of nuclear weapons use is even greater today than at the end of the Cold War, but unlike the Cold War today we face many more nuclear-armed states, terrorists, cyber warfare … ”

“All of this makes us less safe. Along with the many moral and strategic reasons for Europe to pursue peace globally, reduce the nuclear threat beyond the shores, you have a responsibility to lead on this issue, because it affects all your citizens. You must decide whether weapons of mass destruction and luck will remain at the heart of the framework in Europe or if you will lead the way to something new – a security framework worthy of the 21st century. The only nuclear policy that increases security is the only rational and responsible one: the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.”

“And last week the United States released its new Nuclear Posture Review. It is a violent lurch in the wrong direction, and it outlines a new Trump nuclear doctrine that abandons the work for nuclear disarmament. The settlement, if European allies and others under the nuclear umbrella have long understood it, shows a deliberate strategy to make nuclear weapons easier and more likely to be used. Even as a response to a non-nuclear conflict, it is an all-out attempt to take nuclear weapons out of the silos and on to the battlefields.”

“And the problem does not stop there. Similar threat-filled rhetoric in nuclear doctrines are seen from Russia and China and other nuclear-armed States. We are seeing a very dangerous new nuclear arms race that attempts to blur the lines between nuclear and conventional weapons, and today we are just counting down the days until nuclear weapons will be used again. This is not peace through strength. This is instability through terror. It is a luck-based security policy, and that is simply not good enough. Are you going to support the new Trump nuclear doctrine, join the thinking of Russia and North Korea, cheer on a new nuclear arms race … or are you going to support the [uncertain word … “warm”?] work for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons?”

“You cannot do both. This is the choice before each member of this European Union: the rapid escalation of a new nuclear security framework, one that lowers the threshold for nuclear weapons use and raises the likelihood of that happening, – or a rejection of the threats of nuclear war in favor of a new security framework predicated on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, just like we have prohibited other weapons of mass destruction. And we are looking to the EU for leadership in this. The world is looking to the EU for leadership on this. Who else on the global stage today will be the responsible actor ? Who else can we look to, to uphold human rights humanitarian law and the protection of civilians?”

“And the EU together with a high representative Federica Mogherini has been extremely effective in brokering an agreement with Iran, and this very body overwhelmingly in 2016 voted to support our collective work towards the nuclear bomb treaty. All over the objections of powerful interests, one hundred and twenty-two (122) nations adopted the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons last July, and EU member states like Austria, Ireland, Sweden showed great leadership throughout the negotiations. And we need all European states to show that leadership now.”

“There is a clear pathway for you to do so. The treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons is a political means to a nuclear weapons-free world, and now we need political leadership. All EU member states should join the UN treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. And this is entirely consistent with those obligations some EU members have through their collective defense in NATO. And nothing in the North Atlantic treaty signed EU states up to a nuclear instability doctrine based on luck and high risk. Nothing in our collective defense should force us to participate in using nuclear weapons on civilians; that is the opposite of collective security.”

“The security interest of Europe is not served by a new nuclear arms race, one that takes nuclear weapons onto the battlefield and threatens to end us all. We must move towards disarmament, not destruction. Threatening to use weapons of mass destruction to indiscriminately slaughter hundreds of thousands of civilian runs counter to the humanitarian values and moral leadership of this body and all of Europe. As the hands of the Doomsday Clock are being wound in the wrong direction, Europe must urgently take a stand. Show the world that Europe leads on standing up for the principles of democracy, human rights and collective security.”

“And that first step can happen today. Go back to your governments and urge them to join the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, to join the community of nations who uphold the rule of law and laws of war, and in doing so reject the outdated 20th century security framework that sits on an unhealthy obsession with Cold War death relics. And this body, the European Parliament, is more important than ever. At such a critical moment it is vital that this body speak forcefully that it has done in the past in support of disarmament and non-proliferation, and in particular for the nuclear ban treaty.”

“And I urge you to turn those words into action by using the unique power of the European Parliament to promote policy in line with the EU values. Where there is uncertainty we should work towards understanding and consensus. And this is the process parliamentarians in countries like Italy and Norway are undergoing, investigating what the nuclear ban treaty will mean for their wider policy and security. And this body should follow suit. The EU non-proliferation consortium has provided invaluable guidance on implementation of, for example, the prohibition on biological weapons.”

“And members of the European Parliament should request the non-proliferation consortium to examine how member states can join the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. And the European Parliament can back up your support for a policy with funding. This body should use its budgetary discretion to support civil society efforts for a nuclear weapons free world – an implementation of the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.”

“A highlight of this treaty was a close working relationship between political leaders and civil society. So the European Parliament should step up and be firm and strengthen its union with civil society. And the members in this room can, and should swiftly, take these steps, rejecting the trend to increase the discord and dangerous nuclear posturing, and supporting disarmament through the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.”

“It is time for Europe to stand against this move towards nuclear disaster, stand against the Trump doctrine, stand against developments of more usable nuclear weapons, stand against the nuclear saber-rattling from all sides, and stand against the threatening to use weapons of mass destruction on civilians as an acceptable foreign policy.”

“It is your responsibility to protect your people against the use of nuclear weapons. So stand up for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.”

“Thank you.”

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(Thank you to Frederick Moulin at YouTube)

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John McCain Joins Maxine Waters: Pranked On Ukraine, Sanctions, Trump.

United States Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona joins Democratic United States Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California in an all-new, very exclusive, and bipartisan foreign policy “club”…

Friends of Syria

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Real News From Journalist Tommy Hansen.

By Jerry Alatalo

Book5Alphabet Most of the time journalist Tommy Hansen delivers his talks in German, so it became the easy choice to share after coming across his recent English-language presentation at Open Mind Conference 2016 in Denmark. The title of his talk is, “War or Peace in Europe: Now is the Final Call for Journalism”.

With apologies for the length of the presentation at 1 hour 42 minutes, may we suggest if time is presently not available or short to save/record the link for future viewing. One can describe his excellent talk as a memorable, high level, in-depth, extraordinary university quality lecture – touching on and combining the subjects of economics, history, world politics, and more.

The historical aspect starts in 1944-5 and the Bretton Woods monetary conference making the U.S. dollar the world’s reserve currency following World War II. As his presentation unfolds, Mr. Hanson focuses on what he sees as the major situational developments from 1944-5 up until the present in 2016-7. He shares the pertinent details of global financial events such as U.S. President Richard Nixon’s removal of the Gold Standard, plus Henry Kissinger’s deal with Saudi Arabia to sell their oil for only U.S. dollars (the petrodollar), in exchange for military bases to defend/protect the royal family and building up Saudi intelligence forces.

Mr. Hansen’s description of former President and CIA Director George H.W. Bush’s close relations with the Saudi royal family – essentially privatizing U.S. covert operations –  helps explain how his son George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were able to join the Saudis in pulling off the 9/11 false flag operation, and the fictional “war on terror”.

Saudi Arabia is:

  • ruled by the royal family
  • a severe violator of human rights
  • owner of one of the world’s largest oil reserves
  • controller of the world’s largest oil company

He shares a quote from Sarah Chayes and Alex De Waal and their February 18, 2016 article in The Atlantic: “The Saudi ruling elite is operating something like a sophisticated criminal enterprise”. 

Mr. Hansen then goes on to describe the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) which operated with 1,500 employees in the years 1972-1991, and became infamous for massive levels of money-laundering, bribery, support for terrorism, arms trafficking, kidnapping, and murder in the interests of its Saudi, U.S. and other criminal owners. BCCI became a central financial tool used by the criminals behind implementing what has become known as the Iran-Contra scandal.

Tommy Hanson’s detailed presentation makes understanding how events through recent history have shaped the world humanity experiences in 2017 easier – for those already familiar with the real history, and for persons whose knowledge of these (mostly) unreported facts is either non-existent, limited, or only beginning to become sought more intensely and accumulated. In any case, what Mr. Hansen shares is definitely NOT fake news – but the truth/facts of history and today upon which major, important decisions of war and peace will (many on Earth pray) have as their basis.

People sometimes refer to books and writers which have a profound, greater-than-average effect on one’s outlook and perceptions after reading as “keepers”. With regard to talks and visual presentations focused on sharing vital and rarely disseminated knowledge, this one by Tommy Hanson clearly meets the “keeper” standard.

(Thank you to Free21.org at YouTube)

70 Years Of Nuclear Weapons Is Enough: 1945-2015.

by Jerry Alatalo

“If we do not abolish war on this Earth, then surely, one day war will abolish us from this Earth.”   Speech, Independence, Mo., 1966

– HARRY S. TRUMAN (1884-1972) 33rd President of the United States

aaa-9It’s been 70 years since the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For whatever reasons, after seeing the overwhelmingly sad effects of those weapons, after seven decades the human race has yet to abolish what are truly the most hellish products ever created by man.

So, the fate of the Earth – the people, animals, marine life, all living things, and future generations – remain at constant risk of nuclear catastrophe, either through accident or intention. The recent agreement through dialogue among the P5+1 nations and Iran offers hope for all those wishing for complete elimination of nuclear weapons. After the next step of signing an agreement for making the Middle East a nuclear weapons-free zone, the final step of making the Earth free of nuclear armaments becomes possible.

Along with reforming the United Nations by requiring each member state sign the Rome Statute and join the International Criminal Court or face expulsion from the international organization,  another reform is requiring member states to sign the nuclear NonProliferation Treaty.

Making possession of nuclear weapons illegal under international law is the first step for ridding the Earth of hideous products serving no legitimate purpose in light of the unacceptable, massive damage their use would inflict. History’s lessons from war need to become fully learned. The urgent action of global nuclear disarmament remains unfulfilled every minute of every day – until the weapons are no longer existent.

Thinking on why nuclear weapons became created from a philosophical, spiritual or metaphysical standpoint leads to high personal levels of disbelief, puzzlement and lack of explanation for their existence. Perhaps the Creator/God gave human beings free will to develop nuclear weapons, to provide the opportunity for evolving to the point where it becomes obvious their total abolition is the only reasonable and wise choice.

Alphabet How many people wonder how it came about he or she  became born in a generation, at a point in human history, where such horrendous creations exist and threaten literally everything?  Taking only a few moments to reflect on the fact that in various locations around the Earth exist weapons of such destructive force to – if used – destroy the creation shifts one’s awareness and consciousness into places humans experience on extraordinarily rare occasions.

While experiencing such unusual and startling states of awareness, the time between normal everyday exclusion of nuclear weapons as a topic for consideration and coming to hold the unmistakable conviction that the weapons must become banned – forever – is short. It becomes clear that anyone who holds the view that nuclear weapons somehow serve a “good purpose” is missing something of extreme importance.

Abolition of nuclear weapons for some reason hasn’t been mentioned as a topic for debate among those who’ve decided to run for the office of President of the United States. This stunning fact is a source for similar feelings of bewilderment and questions along the lines of thoughts related to nuclear weapons’ coming into existence. One experiences perplexity pondering how it is possible nuclear annihilation of the human race doesn’t make the list of important topics for debate and consideration, along with the economy, health care, education and so on.

If one spends only a short time thinking about that ongoing hellish possibility, the thought arises that nuclear war/extinction for 2016 presidential candidates – until all weapons the world over become abolished – is the only important topic for debate, making all the others insignificant by comparison. The presidential debate question which has to be asked, and is so obvious that even having to mention it boggles one’s mind:

“What is your plan for preventing nuclear war and possible extinction of the human race?”

The period from 1945 to 2015, 70 years, will be seen by some as a short one from a historical perspective, or in contrast to eternity. On the other hand, some perceive 70 years as far too long for humanity to allow the continued existence of such deadly and destructive devices. The time for debate is over. It really ended in 1945 at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Banish nuclear weapons from the Earth.

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1945: The debate ended.

The detonation of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan and the consequences makes clear the appropriateness of the statement: “Never again”.

(Thank you to Stop the War Coalition at YouTube)

1982: Millions became convinced.

Academy Award winning film in 1982 for Best Short Subject Documentary: “If You Love This Planet” (Running time 25:53). With long-time anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott, the film became suppressed in the United States – and described by the U.S. Department of Justice as “foreign political propaganda”.

(Thank you to NFB at YouTube)

2015: Nuclear threat remains.

In June of 2015 in Greece, at a meeting (Delphi Initiative) of economists, academics and experts discussing the Greek economic/financial crisis, former Italy MEP Giulietto Chiesa talks about the possibility of war between the US/NATO/Europe and Russia. His view is that the people of Europe, along with concerned men and women across the world, must join together and act to prevent war from breaking out on the European continent.

Although Mr. Chiesa doesn’t mention nuclear disarmament, what he does say reinforces the idea that abolition of nuclear weapons has become a matter of highest urgency.

(Thank you to The Delphi Initiative at YouTube)